Bush Administration Continues To Mislead (Rep. Elijah Cummings)

President Bush misled Congress and the American people when he led our troops into Iraq. To this day he continues trying to mislead us, most recently with reports that violence is down in Iraq since the surge of U.S. troops. This is absolutely untrue, and I am utterly shocked at the audacity of this Administration to so boldly manipulate the facts to serve its own agenda. We continually hear reports of decreased violence in select regions such as Baghdad, with no mention that overall violence and civilian casualties are higher than ever in the rest of the country. Newly-released statistics for Iraqi civilian deaths in August show a twenty percent increase since July.

The Bush Administration and the Pentagon are sharing with America only one small portion of the big picture in Iraq, picking and choosing which fatalities will and will not be calculated in their death tolls. The Pentagon adjusted its data for sectarian killings in the five month period before the surge began, increasing the original number of approximately 5,500 to approximately 7,400—offering an appearance of significantly decreased violence since the troop surge. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will be attending several hearings regarding Iraq in the next two weeks, where I anticipate receiving more of the same rhetoric to promote political agendas.

The President has misled the American people for far too long. Enough is enough.  No more moving target deadlines. No more scare tactics. No more photo opportunities while our soldiers are out risking their lives for the President’s stubbornness. We see from the latest lack-of-progress report on the benchmark assessments that the surge is not working. It is time for President Bush to admit his failed policies and begin responsibly re-deploying our troops.